DRAFT IMO GUIDELINES ON SHIP RECYCLING
[These guidelines have been developed to give guidance to all stakeholders in the ship recycling
process. This includes administrations of shipbuilding and maritime equipment supplying countries,
flag, port and recycling States, as well as intergovernmental organizations and commercial bodies
such as shipowners, ship builders, repairers and recycling yards. Additional stakeholders include
workers, local communities, environmental and labour bodies.
All ships, at some stage, reach the end of their useful life. The life cycle for most ships, from “cradle
to grave” or “makers to breakers”, gives a 20-25 year life span of operation. In 2001, the OECD
recently noted an increasing casualty rate for older ships remaining in operation, especially for bulk
ships and tankers. The steady withdrawal of older ships and their replacement by new tonnage,
therefore, is a natural commercial process which provides the opportunity for the introduction of
safer and more environmentally friendly designs, greater operating efficiency and a general reduction
in marine risk.
In general, ships are recycled conforming to one of the basic principles of sustainable development.
There are few alternatives to recycling ships – lay-up only postpones the issue; there is only a limited
opportunity to convert ships for other uses such as storage facilities, breakwaters or tourist
attractions; scuttling, although strictly controlled by the London Convention, gives no opportunity for
the steel and other materials and equipment in a ship to be re-used and does not provide the owner
with any final value on the ship.
So, recycling is, generally, the best option for all time-expired tonnage. Furthermore, demand for
ship recycling is expected to rise in the near future as ships, particularly tankers, which do not
conform to the new international requirements set by the MARPOL Convention meet the end of
their commercial lives.
While the principle of ship recycling may be sound, the working practices and environmental
standards in the yards often leave much to be desired. Although responsibility for conditions in the
yards has to lie with the countries in which they are situated, other stakeholders have different roles
to contribute towards minimising potential problems in the yards and are encouraged to fulfil them.
These guidelines were developed to that end.
IMO has developed these guidelines to provide guidance and standards for the [final] preparations
of ships destined for recycling. These guidelines were prepared to complement other international
guidelines addressing this issue; notably one set from the International Labour Office addressing
working conditions at the yards and another set from the Basel Convention on the Transboundary
Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal addressing environmental considerations at ship
recycling facilities. As well, the provisions of other international instruments, or work of their
governing bodies, may be applicable to ship recycling activities addressed by these guidelines, such
as the Montreal Protocol on CFCs, the POPs Convention, or the London Convention 1972 on
dumping at sea.
These guidelines were developed considering key principles to (1) provide practical solutions to the
preparations of ships; (2) foster inter-agency cooperation; and (3) encourage the importance of
recycling as the key sustainable means to manage ships at the end of their commercial lives.
For the purpose of these guidelines:
[Disposal or removal refers to the removal of materials from ships in preparation for recycling and
is understood that such material would then need to be managed in an environmentally responsible
manner consistent with local regulations and international controls.
Flag States refer to countries where ships are registered, particularly the State of registry at the end
of a ship’s commercial life.
Hazardous material refers to materials considered to be dangerous or pose harm to human health
or the environment within the meaning of the IMDG Code, the Basel Convention, or other
international authority or instrument.
Recycling States refer to countries were ship recycling, as described above, occurs.
Ship refers to the definition of a ship under Article 2(4) of MARPOL 73 which states: Ship means a
vessel of any type whatsoever operating in the marine environment and includes hydrofoil boats, air-
cushion vehicles, submersibles, floating craft and fixed or floating platforms. For the purpose of
these guidelines on ship recycling, the term “ ship” would also include both ships operating under
their power and ships that have been stripped of equipment and would be towed.
The commercial life of a ship refers to the time where it is operating and capable of performing its
intended function to generate income for the owners.
Shipowners refer to owners, operators, management companies and others who make decisions on
the fate of ships at the end of their commercial lives.
Ship Recycling refers to all associated operations including, mooring or beaching, dismantling,
recovery of materials and reprocessing.
1.2 Activities undertaken by other organizations
a) International Labour Organisation
The ILO is concerned with shipbreaking and ship recycling where land-based workers in the industry
are exposed to an extremely dangerous work environment with a high accident rate. All major occupational risks -
chemical, physical, biological, ergonomic and psychosocial - are present. Although not drafted with ship
dismantling in mind, a considerable number of existing ILO Conventions, Recommendations and Codes of
Practice can be applied to deal with numerous occupational safety and health hazards and worker protection in
shipbreaking operations. As a complement to the work undertaken in IMO and the Technical Working Group of
the Basel Convention, ILO is preparing a "Technical Guide on a step-by-step approach towards safe
shipbreaking". Their implementation will also depend on the effective application of the measures currently
under discussion in other bodies.
b) Secretariat and Parties to the Basel Convention
Many materials carried on board of ships or contained in their structure will be classified as hazardous wastes,
when destined for recycling or final disposal, under the Basel Convention. In order to assist countries which
have or wish to establish facilities for ship dismantling, the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention
instructed its Technical Working Group to prepare Technical Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound
Management of the Full and Partial Dismantling of Ships. The Guidelines, approved by the Technical Working
Group, provide information and recommendations on procedures, processes and practices that must be
implemented to conform with the environmentally sound management obligations under the Convention. Once
adopted by the Conference of the Parties, the Technical Guidelines provide for the minimum level of requirements
for Parties, where dismantling of ships occur, to fulfil their obligations under the Convention.
The Technical Guidelines are applicable to existing, as well as to new, ship dismantling facilities. They include
principles for the environmentally sound management of ship dismantling, the good practice in environmental
control procedures at ship-dismantling facilities, good practice in design, construction and operation of ship-
dismantling facilities and how to achieve protection of the environment and human health. The Guidelines
contain in Appendix B a list of hazardous wastes and substances under the Basel Convention that are on board
or inherent in the ship structure when the vessel arrives at a dismantling site.
The Technical Guidelines prepared under the auspices of the Basel Convention are complementary to those
prepared by IMO and ILO, and represent a substantial contribution to addressing the life-cycle management of
end-of-life equipment. The successful and effective implementation of the recommendations of the Basel
Convention Technical Guidelines requires a proper and adequate preparation of ships for dismantling and an
improvement in having more environmentally friendly ships through the minimization of hazardous substances in
the building process.]
i) Industry Code of Practice on Ship Recycling
The Industry Working Party on Ship Recycling was established under the co-ordination of ICS in
February 1999 in response to growing concerns expressed by governments, environmental groups
and the industry itself regarding:
• the legal position with respect to potentially hazardous substances on vessels sold for
• the working conditions and safety provisions for workers in recycling yards; and
• environmental controls at recycling yards.
The Industry Working Party comprises representatives from:
Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO)
International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO)
International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO)
International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)
International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF)
International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)
Oil Companies’ International Marine Forum (OCIMF)
The Industry Group, recognising the concerns of various parties, has developed a Code of Practice, outlining a
series of recommendations which would constitute “good practice” in respect of ships destined for recycling.
This Code of Practice is now available and has been circulated as MEPC 47/3/2. It deals primarily with issues
which shipowners themselves can reasonably be expected to address.
MEPC 47 welcomed the initiative taken by the shipping industry in producing the Code of Practice on Ship
Recycling to the extent that, at least initially, these guidelines would be based upon it.
ii) Contract covering the sale of a ship for recycling
The Baltic & International Maritime Council (BIMCO) have revised their standard contract covering the sale of
ships for recycling, DEMOLISHCON, to incorporate, in the standard terms and conditions, reference to the
Industry Code of Practice.
1.3 Identification of hazardous substances
The principal components of a ship (e.g., steel, iron, aluminium) are not an overriding concern from
the standpoint of human health or marine pollution. However, there are a number of potential
sources of pollution that should be addressed when considering recycling options. The main sources
of hazardous substances typical to ships at the point of recycling are cargo and operational residues
• fuel, lubricants, and coolants;
• floatable materials (e.g., plastics, styrofoam insulation);
• Materials possibly containing PCBs such as wiring insulation;
• harmful aquatic organisms in ballast water; and, currently (on older ships); and
• asbestos used as insulation material and accommodation panelling.
Items on ships that may potentially contain substances of concern include:
• electrical equipment (e.g., transformers, batteries, accumulators);
• heat exchangers;
• storage facilities for production and other chemicals;
• tanks, diesel tanks including bulk storage tanks;
• stored solvents, and other chemical stocks;
• sacrificial anodes;
• fire extinguishing and fire fighting equipment;
• piping, valves and fittings;
• pumps and compressors;
• engines and generators;
• oil sumps;
• hydraulic systems; and
• light fittings and fixtures.
In identifying potentially hazardous materials on board ships, there are two key lists to consider for guidance: the
list of hazardous wastes from the Basel Convention, and the inventory of hazardous substances from the
Industry Code of Practice. Both lists are presented in Appendices 1 and 2 to these Guidelines for reference.
2 “Green passport”
2.1 The “Green Passport”
The concept of a “Green Passport” for ships has been promoted. It is envisaged that this document,
containing an inventory of all materials potentially hazardous to human health or the environment,
utilised in the construction of a ship, would accompany the ship throughout its working life. The
document, produced by the shipyard at the construction stage and passed to the purchaser of the
vessel, would be in a format to record any subsequent changes in materials or equipment.
Successive owners of the ship would maintain the accuracy of the Green Passport and incorporate
into it all relevant design and equipment changes, with the final owner delivering it, with the vessel, to
the recycling yard.
i) Applicability of the “Green Passport”
Although the requirement of a green passport applies primarily to new ships, its compilation and use
is recommended for existing ships.
ii) Contents of “Green Passport”
[GREEN PASSPORT FOR SHIP RECYCLING
(According to the IMO Guidelines on Ship Recycling)
Ship Name on New-building Delivery:
Shipyard Name and Address:
Date of Ship Delivery:
1) This document contains an inventory of all materials potentially hazardous to human health or the
environment, utilised in the construction of the ship, its equipment and systems, as listed in the
Annexes of the document.
2) This document shall accompany the ship throughout its working life and be handed over to the
recycling yard when finally the ship is sent for demolishing.
3) This document is to be initially produced by the new-building shipyard at the construction stage and
delivered with the new-building ship to its first owner.
4) This document is to be passed on to the successive owners of the ship after recording any changes in
the materials, quantities and locations as listed in the Annexes.
5) Successive owners of the ship shall maintain the accuracy of the document and incorporate into it all
relevant design and equipment changes as well as changes in materials, quantities and locations in the
construction, equipment and systems.
6) For the Final Voyage, the inventory of hazardous materials (spares, stores and cargo and operational
residues) with their quantities and locations shall be attached to this document while handing over to
the recycling yard.
No. Details On New- Changes on Changes on
building date date …………
1 Flag State
2 Ship Name
3 Port of Registry
4 Official No.
5 Call Sign
6 Ship owner Name
7 Ship owner address
8 Ship type and category
9 Classification Society and Notations
13 Gross Tonnage
16 Main Engine(s) Type & KW
17 Fuels used onboard
18 Change effected on Annexes
19 Signature of owner’s Representative
20 Endorsement by Competent Authority
N.B. Further annexes to be developed.]
3 New ships (see also section 2.1)
The following measures are appropriate for all [ships as defined] by MARPOL [73/78] and are
equally appropriate for other floating structures (e.g. semi-submersible drilling rigs).
3.1 Minimization of hazardous substances used in the construction of new ships and
Some of the problems associated with ship recycling might be addressed at the design and building
stage, not only in relation to the ships themselves but also in respect of ships’ equipment. The first
issue is to identify any potentially hazardous materials which might be incorporated, as a matter of
routine, in the structure of vessels and their equipment (see Appendices 1 and 2) and, where
relevant, look for less hazardous alternatives.
The initial stages might include an evaluation of:
a) the type, amount and potential hazard of materials utilised and their location on board a ship;
b) the activities expected for operation of the ship and any potentially hazardous wastes which might be
c) the feasibility of addressing the potential for hazardous waste by considering:
• product reformulation;
• cleaner production technologies;
• process modification;
• input substitution; and
• on-site, closed-loop recycling.
Naval architects and shipbuilders should be encouraged to take due account of the ship’s ultimate
disposal when designing and constructing a ship, by
• using materials which can be safely recycled;
• minimising the use of materials known to be potentially hazardous to health and the environment;
• [limiting the use of sandwich panels and other such materials that are difficult to separate into
their specific individual substances or components]; and
• taking measures to facilitate the removal of such materials.
In general terms, if opportunities exist for end-of-life waste minimisation or prevention at source, a
ship or equipment designer or operator could formulate and implement a strategy to include specific
waste reduction targets and provision for further waste prevention audits.
[Administrations of flag States and ship building States should have a role in limiting the use of hazardous
materials in the construction of ships and Administrations of ship building States should have a role in
encouraging research into the use of less potentially hazardous materials in the construction of ships.
Administrations of ship building States should also encourage construction techniques that optimize ships for
Materials banned by governments as listed under Appendix 5 [to be developed] should not be used in the
construction, refit and repair of ship.
3.2 Design of ships and ships' equipment to facilitate recycling and to facilitate removal
of hazardous materials during, or at the end of a ship's life cycle
Suppliers of marine equipment which contain hazardous substances, such as Halon, should be
encouraged to design them so as to facilitate the safe removal of those substances, or give advice as
to how such substances can be safely removed, at the end of the working life of the equipment.
3.3 Establishment and maintenance of an Inventory of Hazardous Materials, and other
materials that are of concern for recycling operations on board ships throughout the
life cycle of the ship
In respect of new ships, equipment suppliers, classification societies and administrations should consider taking
measures to facilitate an accurate inventory of hazardous materials used on board ships.
4 Existing ships
4.1 Establishment of an Inventory of Hazardous Materials, and other materials that
are of concern for recycling operations on board ships
Shipowners should be encouraged to initiate a programme to identify and record, as far as is
practicable, on each of their existing ships, potentially hazardous materials (see Appendices 1 and 2)
inherent in their construction or used in their equipment and machinery. Such a record should be
passed to any subsequent owners of the vessel.
4.2 Minimization of hazardous substances during maintenance or major conversions
Once a list of potentially hazardous materials which might be found on board ships, or inherent in their structure,
is available, shipowners are encouraged to make every effort to minimize the amount of potentially hazardous
materials on board the ship, including those carried as stores, during routine or major maintenance or major
4.3 Maintenance of inventory
Shipowners should be encouraged to maintain and update [the inventory] with any structural or equipment
changes made during the life of the vessel.
[4.3.A How to maintain ownership responsibility towards the end of the ship's life until responsibility is
taken over by the recycling yard
At the end of a ship's life the shipowner is responsible for delivery of the ship as described in the contract,
including all the documents in accordance with the guidelines (inventory, etc.). The shipowner is responsible for
the preparation of the ship in order to ease recycling by the yard. Furthermore, the shipowner explicits his
responsibility for the environmentally sound removal of the hazardous materials and wastes on board the ship or
in the structure. This responsibility is described in the contract between the yard and the owner and states that
parties agree that all the hazardous materials will be removed before the steel structure is scrapped. The
shipowner reserves the right to monitor the process and procedures during demolition and dismantling, e.g. by
inspection of a surveyor on behalf of the shipowner. If completion by the yard is as agreed in the contract and
confirmed by the surveyor.............At the end of the recycling process another incentive is paid upon receipt of a
deletion certificate by the shipowner.]
4.4 Preparation of ships for recycling
[The preparation of a ship for recycling should address occupational safety and health, and
environmental issues as well as the safe operation of the ship on its final voyage to the recycling
facility. Conditions that may threaten worker safety at the recycling facility should, to the extent
practicable, be identified by the shipowner and either be rectified or reported to the recycling facility
to ensure that appropriate safety precautions are taken. The shipowner should use its best efforts to
have its ships brought to recycling facilities that are capable of implementing such precautions.]
Similarly, any materials with the potential to harm human health or the marine environment should
either be removed from the vessel or minimized in amount and location and reported to the recycling
facility to ensure that suitable arrangements are made for their reclamation, recycling or disposal.
The preparation of the ship for recycling is, to a large extent, dependent on what a recycling yard is
capable of and what is allowed by the national administration. The ideal is for the yard to be able to
recycle the whole ship in a responsible way [and that shipowners see to it that their ships are
recycled in yards which are capable of this in accordance with international regulations, e.g.
guidelines developed under the Basel Convention].
Waste management and the disposal of the waste remains a key issue.
There is no doubt that the preparation of the ship for recycling can be done most effectively when the ship is
already at the recycling yard and shipowners should be encouraged to work with the yard in determining the
extent of pre-recycling work that is desirable.
The development and implementation of a recycling plan can ensure that a ship has been prepared to
the maximum extent possible prior to its recycling. The plan should be developed in consultation
between the owner or operator of the ship and the recycling yard, taking into account the potential
hazards which may arise during the recycling operation, the legal requirements and international
commitments of the recycling state and the facilities available at the relevant recycling yard in terms
of materials handling and the disposal of any wastes generated during the recycling process. The
plan could use the Inventory of Hazardous Materials as a starting point. The purpose of this plan is
to ensure that wastes potentially contributing to pollution of the marine environment, and any
potential hazards to worker health and safety, can be properly identified and handled.
The recycling plan should take into account inter alia:
i) details of the ship’s operational equipment and potential sources, amounts and relative
hazards of potential contaminants (including chemical and biological) that may be released to the
environment as indicated by the Inventory; and
ii) potential hazards to worker safety which may arise during the recycling operation.
In addition, the last operational owner of a ship should:-
a) seek to ensure that the ship reaches the recycling yard with the minimum quantities of fuel,
diesel, lubricating, hydraulic and other oils and chemicals consistent with the safe operation of the
b) [in connection with the delivery of a ship, provide or arrange for a gas-free, hot work safe
certification for cargo tanks, pump rooms, and coffer dams issued by the relevant authorities. It
should be recognized that any such certification is valid only at the time it is issued;]
c) make every effort to ensure that an arrival inventory is prepared of asbestos, oils, toxic substances,
ozone-depleting substances and all other potentially hazardous materials, including those inherent in the
structure of the vessel or used as coatings on the vessel, those contained in machinery, pipelines or cylinders or
carried as stores, or accumulations of operational residues, to be handed over, against receipt, to the recycling
yard (a recommended inventory form is attached at Appendix 4). (It is accepted that different types of ships may
require a specific type of inventory.);
d) ensure that any compartments on the ship which may contain an oxygen-deficient atmosphere are
clearly marked as such, and that the yard is duly notified of these and other hazardous enclosed spaces and how
to test them;
e) take measures to facilitate the controlled drainage, by the recycling yard, of potentially
harmful liquids from the ship;
f) consider the environmental, health and safety benefits of towing a vessel to the yard, fully
cleaned and certified to be free of oil, tank residues and other potentially hazardous and toxic
g) consider the possibility, prior to handing over the vessel for recycling, of:
• the removal and safe disposal of asbestos prior to arrival or, alternatively, the clear
marking of any Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) or Presumed Asbestos
Containing Materials (PACMs);
• the discharge of halon to an approved facility and the use of portable and returnable
fire-fighting equipment for the final voyage to the recycling site; and
• providing advice on the nature of any hazardous materials on board, as indicated in
the inventory of hazardous materials.
Those entering into a contract of sale of a vessel to a recycling yard should be encouraged to
consider the working practices and facilities in the ship recycling yard(s) in question, including;
• their ability to handle safely, and dispose of properly, any potentially hazardous or environmentally harmful
products that may be present in the ship such as asbestos, PCBs, halons, petroleum products and other
• the provision of appropriate and sufficient personal protection and safety equipment; and
• other information such as safety records, training programmes for workers and assessment of the work
5 Stakeholders’ Roles
5.1 Flag State
The role of the flag State covers the whole operational life of a ship (including its ultimate voyage) and, during
that life it should ensure that the ship complies with all IMO Conventions for as long as the ship is operational.
However, to take into account the final voyage of a ship, the flag State should recommend and encourage the
completion of an inventory of potentially hazardous materials on board to be handed to the recycling yard on
delivery of the ship.
The flag States should encourage their industry to implement the Guidelines adopted by IMO.
5.1.1 Establishment of criteria for “ready for recycling” conditions
[Flag States should establish criteria to declare a ship "ready for recycling". The basis for such criteria would be
that the work to prepare a ship for recycling, set out in section 4.4 of these Guidelines, has been completed,
which would also include final inventory of hazardous materials, set out in section XX, at the end of the ship's
Flag States should:
• encourage the widespread use of the IMO guidelines within the industry;
• urge the use of a ship recycling sales contract, such as [DEMOLISHCON] the BIMCO [standard contract],
which ensures that full account is taken of all relevant environmental, health and safety considerations;
• co-operate with recycling States to facilitate the implementation of the guidelines
5.2 Port State
[The port State assumes a role after the signing of the port State control MoU and it functions as a supplement to
flag State control when it executes port State control.]
5.2.1 Establishment of port State control routines for ships destined for recycling
The only port State in a position to control issues related to a ship destined for recycling is that of the final place
of arrival of an operational vessel i.e. the port where the recycling operation is to take place (see “Recycling
State” below) or the port where a vessel, because of the measures taken to prepare it for recycling, it is rendered
non-operational and is intended to be towed to the recycling yard. Until then, all port state control routines and
obligations (for example in respect of the provision of ship’s waste reception facilities) apply.
[Ships destined for recycling would still be subject to current port State control procedures, as any other ship, in
accordance with applicable international regulations.
Co-ordination between the port State and the flag State is encouraged to ensure the ship meets all relevant IMO
requirements, and any other applicable requirements.]
Port States should:
• encourage the widespread use of IMO guidelines within the industry;
• co-operate with flag States and recycling States to facilitate implementation of the guidelines.
5.3 Recycling State
The role of the recycling State is to enforce international obligations and national legislation in respect
of worker health and safety and the protection of the environment in the ship recycling industry, in
particular, waste generated at a recycling site subject to disposal operations as identified in Annex
IV (A) to the Basel Convention, taking into account those operations which may lead to resource
recovery, recycling, reclamation, direct re-use or alternative uses identified in Annex IV (B) to the
Basel Convention (attached at Appendix 1).
The recycling State is also, of course, in a position to introduce national regulations in relation to the condition
of ships purchased for recycling both at the time of purchase and at the time of delivery. In effect, the recycling
State can lay down any conditions it considers necessary before a ship is accepted for recycling.
The inventory of potentially hazardous materials which should be delivered to the recycling yard by the last
operational owner of the vessel, should give the recycling State a good insight into the contents of the ship. The
recycling State is in a position to check that any potentially hazardous wastes which might be generated during
the recycling operation can be safely handled before it accepts the ship for recycling.
After the ship has been accepted, the recycling State is responsible for monitoring the safe handling of any
hazardous materials generated during the recycling process.
5.3.1 Establish or maintain adequate reception facilities for ship-generated wastes from
ships destined for ship recycling]
Regulation 12.1 of Annex I to MARPOL 73/78 requires governments to provide reception facilities “at oil loading
terminals, repair ports, and in other ports in which ships have oily residues to discharge” which are “adequate to
meet the needs of the ships using them.” Regulation 12.2 (c) extends this to “all ports having ship repair yards or
tank cleaning facilities.”
While IMO Convention does not extend the requirement to the provision of such facilities at recycling places,
Governments of recycling states should ensure that, in authorising a recycling activity, adequate reception
facilities are in place.
The IMO Manual for Port Reception Facilities provides detailed guidance to manage ship-generated
wastes. The Technical Guidelines for the Environmentally Sound Management of Ship Dismantling
Facilities under development by the Parties to the Basel Convention may also provide some
5.3.2 Establishment of routines for control of ships delivered for recycling
All recycling States can, in their national legislation, lay down the conditions under which ships may
be accepted into their state as imports for recycling and, equally, define and enforce appropriate
worker health and safety requirements.
All recycling States are urged to introduce, if they have not already done so, and enforce legislation
which requires that all ships destined for recycling are delivered to the recycling yard in a gas-free
condition, with all tanks, except the necessary fuel tanks for the final voyage, cleaned and certified to
full hot work and entry standards.
Those administrations with responsibilities for recycling yards should consider introducing a
“Certificate of Approval” for yards meeting acceptable worker safety and environmental control
standards. They should ensure that the handling and disposal of asbestos, oils and other hazardous
substances, whether prior to the ship’s arrival at the recycling yard or subsequently, have been
conducted in an acceptable manner.
They should also urge those acting on behalf of recycling yards in purchasing vessels for recycling to
utilise a standard ship recycling contract, such as the [DEMOLISHCON - the ]BIMCO [standard
contract] document, which ensures that full account is taken of all relevant environmental, health and
The recycling yard should be required to check every ship before it accepts it. This check should ensure that the
actual condition of the ship is consistent with the purchase contract and that the inventory has been completed.
At the moment the yard accepts the ownership of the ship for recycling, the responsibility for proper handling of
any wastes generated lies with the yard.
The recycling State itself has a responsibility for the introduction, implementation and enforcement of sound
legislation concerning the recycling of ships. To this end, recycling states are urged to examine, and where
necessary adopt into national legislation, any applicable internationally developed conventions,
recommendations and guidance relevant to the ship recycling industry such as those produced by the
International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The recycling State should also be prepared to give support to their yards in the decision to accept or not to
accept a ship for recycling. The yards themselves are responsible for handling the vessel and the recycling
operation in compliance with national legislation.
5.4 The Shipping Industry (Shipowning/Ship operating)
A lot of problems with ship recycling can be solved by good co-operation between the shipowner and the
recycling yard, before and during the recycling operation. Shipowners are urged to develop this co-operation.
The shipping industry is encouraged to continue development of the “Code of Good Practice” covering inter alia
ship recycling operations (which includes encouraging owners to prepare and hand over to the recycling yard, a
pre-recycling inventory), seeking endorsement of and comments on its work from MEPC at regular intervals in
the future and working with Classification Societies in improving plans to decommission ships in a safe and
environmentally sound manner.
5.5 Brokers and Intermediate (cash) buyers
[The sale and purchase of a ship takes place several times during its life and this is generally conducted between
the brokers acting on behalf of the seller and the buyer. When a ship is destined finally for sale to a ship
recycling yard, the procedure is similar.
However, the sale of a ship to a recycling yard has considerable commercial risk due to wide fluctuations in the
market over a short time. To avoid the commercial risk, the shipowner sells his ship through a broker who
specializes in obtaining ships for recycling to an intermediate or cash buyer who is also a specialist in this
business and has knowledge and contacts normally not possessed by the shipowner. Thus, the seller's broker
and, more so, the cash buyer virtually control the sale of a ship to a recycling yard.
The cash buyer, by investing only a small percentage of the ship's price, holds the ship under his control until he
selects a recycling yard to his advantage, normally at a later date. Hence, his role in obtaining details of the ship
purchased and passing these details to the recycling yard is vital. Under these circumstances, the shipowner has
no role to play in the selection of the ship recycling yard.
The chain of communications between the final operator (owner) who sells the ship to a recycling yard is a long
one involving several parties, but mostly devoid of transparency. These guidelines are intended to bring in
accountability and transparency between the chain of communications.]
5.6 Environmental Groups
Enviromental groups and others are encouraged to continue to monitor the issues associated with
ship recycling and report on ship recycling issues in a responsible manner.
5.7 The Ship Recycling Industry
The ship recycling industry itself should clearly be included in any list of “stakeholders” although standards of
operation in those shore-based industries involved in ship recycling do not fall within the remit of IMO.
However, they have a role in establishing control standards in their yards which contribute towards ensuring the
safe and environmentally friendly disposal of time-expired vessels.
The industry is encouraged to:
• take due note of available technical guidance on ship recycling such as the guidelines developed by Det
Norske Veritas (DNV) or the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
• develop a code of practice appropriate to that industry, as guidance on work practices in relation to shore
based activities in recycling yards to ensure acceptable environmental, safety and health standards and
to monitor its application;
• encourage appropriate international bodies to endorse any ship recycling industry code of practice;
• encourage recycling yards to make publicly available details regarding the chosen method for the safe
handling of asbestos, PCBs and PABs, halon/freon, oily residues and hazardous atmospheres in
enclosed spaces; and
• establish a structure to improve the quality system of the yards by implementing measures as proposed by
IMO, ILO and Basel and improving the quality of the personnel and of the equipment. Yards must be
encouraged to work with proper procedures and have adequate waste management systems.
5.8 Technical assistance
Ship recycling, if conducted in an environmentally friendly and a safe manner, is a positive benefit to the overall
environment and to specific national and local economies and represents the most viable method of disposing of
the majority of time expired tonnage. Therefore, if the transfer of technology or aid funding is necessary to
improve facilities and working practices in the yards, organizations or nation groupings with access to economic
assistance funds are asked to look sympathetically at working together with the governments concerned with
recycling on actual infrastructure projects.
National or regional administrations are encouraged to work together with governments in ship recycling nations
and other interested parties on projects involving the transfer of technology or aid funding to improve facilities
and working practices in the yards.
[The ILO should continue to develop programmes for raising awareness about improving working conditions at
5.9 The International Labour Organization
[ILO will provide advice and guidance in helping to establish international standards for improving working
conditions at shipbreaking sites. It would also assist administrations in establishing criteria by which yards
might be ranked as meeting certain minimum requirements in order to obtain government "approval". The ILO
should be encouraged to continue to develop and adopt a "Technical Guide on a step-by-step approach towards
[5.10 The Basel Convention
The Parties to the Basel Convention are committed to manage hazardous wastes, from whatever origin, in a
manner to protect human health and the environment.
5.10.1 Environmentally sound dismantling of ships
The Technical Guidelines prepared under the auspices of the Basel Convention are applicable to existing as well
as new facilities for dismantling ships. The Guidelines make provisions for the proper and sound removal of
hazardous wastes and substances, including their collection, sorting, or recycling and final disposal. The scope
of the Guidelines covers the technical and procedural aspects of ship dismantling.]
The Parties to the Basel Convention should:
• [promote and implement the Basel Convention Technical Guidelines for the Environmentally
Sound Management of the Full and Partial Dismantling of Ships;
• promote and encourage the minimization of hazardous materials in the construction of ships;
• co-operate with other stakeholders to aim at continuous improvement at the ship dismantling
5.11 The London Convention
5.12 Ship insurers
[.1 An extension of the 12 months' insurance (by owner) specifically to cover the voyage to the
yard under own power. Insurers may ask for limited conditions and need a special survey to
consider the voyage if outside normal operations, etc. Position of class also important; or
.2 a special voyage under own power (account buyer or seller or yard). Insurers will require
special survey of vessel condition and will cover on limited conditions (total loss only).
Details of crew and any cargo needed. Flag details; or
.3 a special voyage in tow - need all as above but in addition details of tug towage arrangements,
N.B. It is possible any specific IMO "guidelines" could be incorporated, when relevant, into
insurance policy terms.]